Inside Edge on Recent Changes on Arctic Sea Ice Coverage (credit: Climate Central)
DISCUSSION: As the Earth continues to undergo a gradual warming trend, one of the hotter topics in science and society is the large variety of issues pertaining to a shrinking percentage of average annual Arctic sea ice coverage. Over the past few decades, there has been a substantial increase in the magnitude of inter-seasonal Arctic sea ice melting. As a result of this increased Arctic sea ice melting, this has created substantial changes in much longer-term Arctic sea ice coverage changes. One of the more notable changes to Arctic sea ice coverage is the fact that the recent increasing rates of sea ice melting are also melting away much older sea ice. This is indicative of the fact that tremendous amounts of Arctic sea ice are being lost both seasonally and annually over the course of recent decades. The defense for this determination is based on the fact that in order for older sea ice to be extinguished, a much greater percentage of the uppermost layers of Arctic sea ice must first melt away.
Therefore, the increasing average temperature across many parts of the greater Arctic Circle are directly causing a major percentage of annual Arctic sea ice to melt away which makes the deeper, older Arctic sea ice much more vulnerable over the course of time. This is a significant change and impact to the overall ice record, since this also induces a more amplified release of carbon dioxide and other trace gases into the atmosphere which furthers the impact of the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is effectively the process by which various gases which exist naturally and/or are anthropogenically-generated are trapped in the middle to upper parts of the atmosphere and consequently trap increasing amounts of heat on Earth. This additional heat being trapped within the global atmosphere surrounding planet Earth acts to further exacerbate the problem of a gradually warming planet. Thus, the average temperature increases in and around the Arctic Circle are a major concern for life on Earth as we continue to get further into the 21st Century.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz
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